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Train derails between Winnipeg and Churchill

Few "scratches" only injuries suffered

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A Via Rail passenger train heading to Churchill from Winnipeg derailed just over the Saskatchewan border Sunday evening.

Company spokesman Jacques Gagnon confirmed to the Free Press that the derailment occurred at about 6 p.m. Sunday.

It occurred near Togo, Sask., a hamlet just across the border, about 40 kms northwest of Roblin, Man.

Gagnon said "a few scratches" were the only injuries suffered by people aboard. There were seven passengers and about five crew members on the very short train, he said.

"The good news is all the passengers are safe. All the employees are safe," Gagnon said.

Flooding on the rail line caused the derailment, he said.

RCMP and Via Rail staff organized ground transportation to a nearby lodge in Duck Mountain Provincial Park for the night.

Const. David Kisters from the RCMP detachment in Kamsack, Sask., called it "a miracle" that there were no serious injuries.

Several passenger cars were off the tracks, and the front of one car was actually "being held up in the air by the other cars."

RCMP officers had to walk about 1.5 kms down the tracks to get to the train, and then shepherded all passengers and crew back the same way.

According to the Via Rail website, the Winnipeg-Churchill train makes the 1,700-kilometre journey to Churchill in two days.

After leaving Winnipeg, the route swings northwest through Dauphin and then across the Saskatchewan border through Togo to Kamsack before veering back into Manitoba and continuing north.

 

History

Updated on Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 11:53 PM CDT: Adds new information from RCMP.

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